Chinese lawmakers expected to ban tobacco ads in public venues

World Today

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China is discussing stricter bans on tobacco advertisements at its bi-monthly session. 

CCTV’s Hou Na reported this story from Beijing.

Chinese lawmakers expected to ban tobacco ads in public venues

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China is discussing stricter bans on tobacco advertisements at its bi-monthly session

The amendment to China’s 20-year-old Advertisement Law is in its second reading and could potentially ban tobacco advertising at all public venues. It will also prevent alcohol ads from using cars, boats and planes.

“The second draft, after advice on the first edition, also banned brands, trademark, packaging, design and content related to tobacco products from other products, services and public service announcements. It is big improvement compared with the first draft,” Luo Liangquan, an NPC Standing Committee member said.

Companies will still be able to advertise their products in tobacco shops, which has caused some lawmakers to suggest banning tobacco ads on a larger scale.

“I think that tobacco shops are public places, and thus, should be free from tobacco advertising. Why don’t we ban tobacco advertising across the board?” asked committee member Wang Naikun.

The draft amendment also bans outdoor and window tobacco ads and stipulates that tobacco adverts should be approved by the Industry and Commerce Administration department of the central government, instead of local governments, as has been the case.

The draft also has additional provisions for tobacco ads, including an amendment that stipulates that under no circumstance should it be suggested that smoking is healthy, can relieve fatigue, or ease mental strain. Tobacco must also not be labeled as “low-tar” or having “low health risks” and the warning “smoking is harmful to health” must be prominently displayed.

The second reading of the draft will be put to a vote on Sunday.